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Trustee Governance Conference: Strategic Thinking for Boards and Heads of School

Date: Saturday - December 03, 2016
Time: 8:30 AM to 2:00 PM
Location: Masters School
49 Clinton Ave, Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522    Map
David Lowry, Caryn Pass, Donna Orem, Mark Mitchell, Mark Lauria, Paul Ness and others,  plus panels of Heads and Board Chairs.

This conference is rescheduled from January 23, 2016.

Strategic Thinking for Boards and Heads of School

NYSAIS has planned a comprehensive Governance Conference on Saturday, December 3, 2016 at Masters School, Dobbs Ferry, NY. In order to best meet the needs of all NYSAIS schools we have designed a schedule which includes speakers, panels, discussion forums and workshops.

Campus Map

All sessions will occur in the Middle School Building

Schedule

8:30 – 9:00

Continental Breakfast and Registration

9:00 - 9:15
Doc Wilson Hall

Welcome - Mark Lauria, Executive Director, NYSAIS
Laura Danforth, Head of School, The Masters School

9:15 - 9:45
Doc Wilson Hall

Keynote – Your Work as a Trustee: A Brief Overview
David Lowry
Presider: David Trower, Headmaster, Allen-Stevenson School

Years ago, when I was a beginning Head of School, at some conference or another, I was introduced to this model for independent schools:  The teacher asks, “What am I going to do with the students tomorrow?” The Head asks, “What do I need to do with this school next year and the next?”  And, the Trustee asks, “What do I need to do to make sure this school is great for my grandchildren?”

Now that I’ve been taking care of my first grandchild, almost daily, for the past year, I finally get it.  Being a grandparent truly mirrors being a Trustee, including cleaning up messes, taking care to deliver your wisdom thoughtfully, and knowing your boundaries.  There are “do’s” and “don’ts” for grandparents and “do’s” and “don’ts” for Trustees, and they are surprisingly similar.  For example, schools teethe just as six-month-olds do.  It’s uncomfortable, but necessary, for both. Trustees and grandparents both need to know how to soothe.

10:00 - 10:50

Breakout Sessions I (These breakouts will be repeated at 11:00

107

1. Legal Trends in Independent School Boards of Trustees
Caryn Pass, Venable, LLC

Legal issues facing independent schools require an increasing amount of time and attention from school administrators as well as Trustees.  As a fiduciary and trustee of the institution it is important for board members to keep abreast of the legal issues that could face the school and pose both financial and other burdens on the institution.  Independent School Lawyer Caryn Pass will discuss the wide range of legal challenges confronting independent schools and pro-active strategies that can limit liability exposure. Ms. Pass will address issues including student travel, social media, intellectual property, and transgender students & employees.

109

2. Financial Sustainability: Enrollment, Affordability and Financial Aid
Mark Mitchell, NAIS, SSS

In the post-2008 recession economy, schools are continually and increasingly forced to ask and examine:  “How does our price affect our ability to enroll the class we want?” Examining trends in tuition growth, enrollment and the admission funnel, compared to family demographic and income change can yield important observations about the future of affordability and demand.  Let’s take a look at both national and New York-specific trends and have a conversation about how admissions leaders can engage heads and trustees on issues of price, financial aid, and demand moving forward.

Doc Wilson Hall

3. Educational Trends
Donna Orem, President, NAIS

The last 20 years have not been the easiest for independent schools. Increasing competition, shifting demographics, changing family values, escalating costs and tuitions, new technologies—these and other developments have challenged independent schools like never before. The next 20 years will not be easy—but they can be better, much better, if we recognize, now, the opportunities that our challenges present.

108

4. Trusteeship 101
Mark Lauria, Executive Director, NYSAIS; Dane Peters

Especially for new Trustees, Mark  Lauria and Dane Peters will review essential steps to becoming a valuable, contributing member of your Board of Trustees.

10:50 - 11:00     

Break

11:00 – 11:50

Breakouts 2

107

1. Legal Trends in Independent School Boards of Trustees
Caryn Pass, Venable, LLC

Legal issues facing independent schools require an increasing amount of time and attention from school administrators as well as Trustees.  As a fiduciary and trustee of the institution it is important for board members to keep abreast of the legal issues that could face the school and pose both financial and other burdens on the institution.  Independent School Lawyer Caryn Pass will discuss the wide range of legal challenges confronting independent schools and pro-active strategies that can limit liability exposure. Ms. Pass will address issues including student travel, social media, intellectual property, and transgender students & employees.

109

2. Financial Sustainability: Enrollment, Affordability and Financial Aid
Mark Mitchell, NAIS, SSS

In the post-2008 recession economy, schools are continually and increasingly forced to ask and examine:  “How does our price affect our ability to enroll the class we want?” Examining trends in tuition growth, enrollment and the admission funnel, compared to family demographic and income change can yield important observations about the future of affordability and demand.  Let’s take a look at both national and New York-specific trends and have a conversation about how admissions leaders can engage heads and trustees on issues of price, financial aid, and demand moving forward.

Doc Wilson Hall

3. Educational Trends
Donna Orem, President, NAIS

The last 20 years have not been the easiest for independent schools. Increasing competition, shifting demographics, changing family values, escalating costs and tuitions, new technologies—these and other developments have challenged independent schools like never before. The next 20 years will not be easy—but they can be better, much better, if we recognize, now, the opportunities that our challenges present.

108

4. Board Chair Forum – a conversation
Moderated by Dane Peters, Founding Director of Experienced Leaders Advising Schools (ELAS)
Patti Vitale (Head of School) and Suzanne Smith (Board Chair), Brown School

106

5. Finance Committee 101
Paul Ness

Members of the Board's Finance Committee - indeed all board members - need to be razor-sharp in their grasp of the basics of school finance. Attendees will learn about budgets, balance sheets, forecasting, and the red flags that could signal fiscal trouble.

12:00 – 1:30    
Doc Wilson Hall

 

Luncheon Speaker: Building and Nurturing the Board Your School Needs in a Time of Change
Donna Orem, President, NAIS

What are the hallmarks of a great board? In this session, we’ll outline five characteristics of high-performing boards and offer a roadmap for driving your board to peak performance. We’ll also examine new models of governance that have great potential for serving schools more effectively in a time of change.


               

Donna Orem, President, National Association of Independent Schools.  As the Chief Operating Officer for NAIS, Orem manages organizational strategic planning, provides vision for new organizational endeavors, and manages the day-to-day operations of the organization. She also oversees NAIS services for school trustees. She is the author of numerous monographs and articles on how external trends affect independent schools and presents around the world on these topics.

Orem joined NAIS in 1998 as the vice president for educational leadership. In this role, she was responsible for the NAIS Annual Conference and numerous workshops and online programs to help educational leaders at independent schools. Previous to NAIS, she served as the vice president for products and services development at the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). In her 15 years at CASE, she also managed all services for the independent school advancement community including the annual CASE/NAIS Conference.

She also has served as associate director for the American Association of University Women, where she managed all member foundation programs, and as a director with the National Training and Development Service, a nonprofit organization serving state and local government. She has served on numerous independent school boards and chaired one.

Caryn Pass has represented independent schools for over 25 years. As chair of Venable’s Education Practice she advices over 200 schools nationwide on a wide range of legal issues while tracking trends specific to independent schools.

Ms. Pass works with schools on legal issues raised by students, parents, employees, trustees, donors, alumni, neighbors, and vendors by establishing policies, procedures, and strategies that promote positive working and learning environments while limiting potential liability exposure. A problem solver and strategic thinker, Ms. Pass helps avoid liability in a manner consistent with school culture.

Ms. Pass works on documents utilized by independent schools, including employment, enrollment and contractor agreements. She advises on the proper use of technology and social media, wage and hour compliance, employee and student discipline, admissions, investment and financial issues, FMLA, performance evaluation design, and employee termination. She conducts investigations involving students, employees, and other members of the school community. In addition, she reviews employee and student handbooks, develops emergency preparedness plans and works with experts in the assessment of campus security. Ms. Pass designs and reviews by-laws and governance policies and works with boards to establish good governance.

 Mark J. Mitchell is the vice president for School and Student Services By NAIS, where he oversees knowledge creation initiatives supporting more than 2,100 K-12 schools and other organizations through workshops, institutes, seminars, print and web-based resource material, blogs, and consultative guidance in the effective administration of financial aid programs.  Mark is a frequent presenter at local, state, regional, and national conferences on school financial aid policy and practices, tuition pricing, affordability, demographic and income trends.  He has authored several articles and book chapters on education financing and financial aid strategies in magazines and books. He earned his BS in Communication Studies from Northwestern University, where he served as assistant director of financial aid.  He also has worked as coordinator of new student financial aid at Lake Forest College and as an account executive for Access Group, Inc, a firm specializing in graduate student education financing.  He is an alumnus and past trustee of Moorestown Friends School in New Jersey.  Based in Washington, DC, he can be reached by email at mitchell@nais.org or by phone at 202-973-9766.

Dr. David Lowry received his BA from Haverford College, and his MA and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Columbia University.  He served as a consulting psychologist to independent schools in New York City and as the Head of the Lower School at Friends Seminary. Subsequently, Dr. Lowry headed four schools: Brookside/Cranbrook, MI, The Lexington School, KY, St. Edmund’s Academy, PA, and he recently retired after his twelfth year as Head of School at the Elisabeth Morrow School, NJ.

Dr. Lowry has served as the vice-chair of the Independent Schools Admissions Association of Greater New York (ISAAGNY), member of the Advisory Board of the Educational Records Bureau (ERB), and as a faculty member in the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) Advanced Administrative Seminar.  Additionally, he has made numerous presentations at the Annual Conferences for the Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS) and the New Jersey Association of Independent Schools’ (NJAIS) annual Trustee Enrichment Day.  David directed the ISACS Beginning Teacher Institute for four years.

Dr. Lowry’s association board work includes ISAACS, PAPAS and NJAIS where he has led presidential searches, accreditation commissions, and the board itself.  Dr. Lowry has chaired many school accreditation visits.  He has written numerous columns on parenting and school life, several of which have been published in popular magazines.  He currently serves on the board of trustees of two independent schools.   Dr. Lowry is married and has a grown son and daughter. He is currently a member of the NJAIS “Encore Series” of retired Heads. He is also an Ed-visor with the NYSAIS ELAS program.

Paul M. Ness has had a long and distinguished career in independent school leadership, serving as Chief Financial and Operating Officer of the Bronx Preparatory Charter School, Director of Finance and Operations at Collegiate School (NY) and Concord Academy (MA) where he also taught mathematics. Paul has been active in national and regional independent school organizations as chair of various committees for the New York State Association of Independent Schools and Independent School Association of Massachusetts, and on numerous visiting committees. He has served on the Personnel Board of the Town of Concord, MA (Chair)  and on the boards of Fayerweather Street School (Cambridge, MA), Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network (NYC, Treasurer) and currently the Bloomingdale School of Music (NYC: Secretary, Vice-President, President) and the Rochester Philharmonic League (Treasurer). He is also an Ed-visor with the NYSAIS ELAS program.

Dr. Mark W. Lauria has been the Executive Director for the New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS) since 2009. Prior to his work with NYSAIS, Dr. Lauria served for thirteen years as the Headmaster at Foothill Country Day School (FCDS) in Claremont, California. While Headmaster at FCDS, he served as the President of the Board of Directors and the Chair of the Board of Standards for the California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS). In addition to his work in independent schools, he served as the Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources, elementary school Principal, and middle school Assistant Principal in the Ontario-Montclair School District. He is a current member of the Board of Trustees for the Educational Records Bureau (ERB) and the Cloud Forest School Foundation (CSF) in Monteverde, Costa Rica.

Suggested Hotel

Hilton Tarrytown
Address: 455 S Broadway, Tarrytown, NY 10591
Phone: (914) 631-5700

Transportation from the Train:

Masters School vans can offer a Train Shuttle at the times below.
 
o    From Grand Central at 7:20 AM             arrives at Dobbs Ferry at 8:05 AM
o    From Grand Central at 7:47 AM             arrives at Dobbs Ferry at 8:32 AM
 
o    From Dobbs Ferry at 1:20 PM                arrives at Grand Central at 2:07 PM      
o    From Dobbs Ferry at 1:50 PM                arrives at Grand Central at 2:28 PM


Registration fee covers breakfast, the conference followed by lunch.

Registration and Credit Card Payment

A late fee of $10 will apply after December 1st. Group discounts (5 or more registering together) are available. Questions? Contact maria@nysais.org

To get the best pricing, be sure to register your group together in a single transaction. Addiing attendees at a later time will be treated as a new transaction.

Register Here

  • NYSAIS Members - $75.00
    • Group rate (5 or more registering together) $60.00
  • Non-members - $85.00
    • Group rate (5 or more registering together) $70.00
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